With opening night roughly a week away, Los Angeles Opera House think even further into the future. The musical leadership of the company changes and remains the same.
LA Opera will welcome next season a new resident conductor, Lina González-Granados. The Colombian-American, who is currently an apprentice conductor Solti with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has also been a scholar with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. She also directs her own group, Unitas Ensemble, a chamber orchestra that champions the music of Latin American composers.
González-Granados will replace Grant Gershon, who will step down at the end of the 2021-2022 season to focus more on his own ensemble, the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Gershon, LA Opera choir director since 2007 and resident conductor since 2012, explained, “For quite some time … the Los Angeles Master Choir and conducting projects have been invited outside of Los Angeles.
González-Granados succeeds Gershon as resident conductor, a position lasting until 2024-2025 that will allow him to conduct one main production per year, as well as additional performances for the company’s experimental series (Off Grand), online platform (Now) and community awareness (Connects). Gershon’s other role, as choir director, will be vacant; LA Opera begins this month the search for its replacement.
Meanwhile, the choir takes center stage in Verdi’s season opener. Il Trovatore. The company will sound its return to large-scale programming with the “Anvil Chorus”, in performances directed by James Conlon, from September 18 to October 10.
Conlon is the other conductor of LA Opera News; Music director of the company since 2006, he again extends his contract until 2024-2025. And rightly so for this first full season back from the pandemic, Conlon is directing two great operas as bookends – Il Trovatore this month and then more from Verdi, Aida, in May and June 2022.